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Songs of Separation: Film & Concert

September 7, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm

SPACE, in collaboration with Oslo Dokumentarkino, Arabiske Filmdager, Vega Scene and Syrian Doc Days,  invite you to a mystical evening at Vega Scene on Sept 7th. The evening starts with a film taking us on a timeless journey into the majestic world of music in Syria before the war. The film then chases the paths of three passionate musicians turned refugees as they rebuild their lives in exile. They resort to their love of Sufi music to find meaning in the aftermath of destruction and atrocity. Ibrahim, one of the musicians featured in the film, will join us later along with three world-renowned Syrian musicians in a Sufi-inspired concert.

  • 18.00 Wajd: Songs of Separation (Film)
  • 19.30 Q&A with film director
  • 20.00 Break
  • 20.30 Songs of Separation (Concert)


Wajd: Songs of Separation (Film)

Inspired by the traditional sacred music of Syria, filmmaker Amar Chebib travelled to Damascus and Aleppo in 2010. Six months later the revolution began, escalating into a civil war and a humanitarian crisis. Touched by the harrowing experiences of the friends he made, Wajd transformed into the stories of three musicians turned refugees following them over five years.

Intimate footage of their daily lives weaved together with bittersweet musical performances, extremely rare Sufi ceremonies, and poetic imagery of a pre-war Syria that no longer exists. What unfolds is a cinematic meditation on loss, yearning, and faith.

Songs of Separation

Four prominent Syrian musicians are coming together from Turkey, the UK, Denmark as well as Norway to bring you a memorable evening of oriental rhythms fused with Sufi-inspired performance. The concert will revive the Sufi Levantine musical heritage, featuring Aleppine Qudud (Qudud Halabiya) and classical Arabic Muwashahat, a centuries-old genre spanning practices from Aleppo to Andulsia.

About the Musicians

Ibrahim Muslimani, now lives in Gaziantep, Turkey, was born in Aleppo to a family with a passion for Inshad, a form of Sufi choral singing. In 2003, Ibrahim joined Aleppine Inshad groups as a professional Daf player. In 2006, he started collecting Syrian musical heritage focusing on the orally passed-down, almost lost musical heritage and the rare Muwashahat, Qudud, Maqamat, rhythms and musical manuscripts and records. In 2012, he fled to Turkey where he further cultivated his passion for traditional music. He got a certificate in the essentials of classical Turkish music from the Directorate of Culture in Gaziantep,Turkey. Ibrahim is still studying the essentials of musical theories, rhythms and maqamat of the Ottoman Music, Oud playing and ethos of music with the master Mohammad Saif Addin Zein Al-Abedin. He is a co-founder and CEO of “Nefes Institution for Arts and Culture”.

Rihab Azar, now lives in the UK, was born in Homs, Syria to a musical family. Her father, luthier Samir Azar made her first oud and started teaching her when she was 7 years old. She continued her musical quest later at the Conservatoire of Damascus and was taught by masters of the oud in Syria. The influences at the Conservatoire included Azerbaijani, Arabic, Turkish and Western classical music. In 2014, She became the first woman oudist to perform accompanied by the Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music. Rihab was the oud player of the “Syrian Female Oriental Takht” from 2006 until 2015, the year in which she moved to the UK to study Music Education at University College London. Arts Council England recognised her as a musician of “Exceptional Promise” in December 2016.

Bakri Hemmami is a Syrian singer and musician based in Denmark, where he was invited to many cultural and academic events to talk about the Syrian traditional and Sufi music, and perform his art in front of the Danish Audience.

Muhammad Fadel Kuj, lives in Kristiansand, Norway, is a Syrian oriental performer and conductor. He studied classical music education and performing at Homs, where he was born. Muhammad lives in Norway since 2014 and studied musical conducting at University of Stavanger, he is working since 2017 with Norwegian choir association as a chief conductor for choir of Søgne.

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September 7, 2019
6:00 pm - 9:30 pm
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Vega Scene
Hausmanns gate 30
Oslo, 0182 Norway
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